Well, we’re already a month into the new year.  Time flies when you’re having fun!  Do you still remember your new year’s resolutions for 2019?  Or are you like me, just not even making a resolution because you don’t need the guilt of not carrying out what you resolved to do?  However, I do believe that we would all do well at this point in the year (regardless of resolutions) to remember that in Christ, we all are something new and different than we were when we were not in Christ.

Paul helps us with that In his letter to the church at Ephesus.  “Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and…put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”  (Ephesians 4:22-24)

This makes me think of one of my favorite stories from the Bible, involving Jesus’ good friend, Lazarus.  Lazarus was sick.  Jesus found out, but waited to come until four days after Lazarus had died.  When He got there, Jesus ordered the stone to be removed from the tomb and then raised Lazarus from the dead.  There’s a lot of interesting and fun stuff going on in that passage, but the one thing I notice for sure is that Lazarus rises from the dead and, of course, he’s still bound up by the cloth wrappings of a dead person.  Normally, all those strips of cloth are not a problem; dead people don’t need much arm and leg room.  Jesus said, “Unbind him, and let him go.”  (John 11:44)  What I love about this is that Jesus is not allowing Lazarus to be bound in the clothing of a dead man.  Instead, He’s clearly intending for Lazarus to shed the garments of death and move forward in life.

Isn’t that the very same intention Jesus has for you and me when we come to Him and are raised from the death of our sins?  Can you hear Jesus calling out for us to shed the binding garments of death this year?  And isn’t it fantastic that we don’t have to wonder about what we are to wear next?  We are to wear the clothes of His grace and glory.

There are lots of Christians who have stepped out of their tombs, but are still bound up in death rags.  If you are feeling hemmed in by a lot of worldly problems and worries, don’t you think it’s time to hear the peace of Jesus’ words for you?  “Unbind him, and let him go!”  In Christ, we all have the ability to shed the binding rags of death and put on the new clothes of life in Christ.  By God’s power, won’t it be a lot more interesting and fun to walk in that new life today?  It sure beats tripping over the binding rags the enemy would have us wear!